Chronicles of a Government Lawyer: Coffee


My New Year’s resolution is to stop drinking coffee. Not because I get jittery and develop coffee-induced Tourette’s syndrome, or because I sweat coffee beans all day. It’s not even because I have matching coffee stains on my cheap suits, or that I have withdrawal headaches like a crackhead. You see, my office does not provide any complimentary coffee, that bitter nectar of gods. Welcome to the life of a government lawyer.

My work load is not for humans. When my boss throws files on my desk, I want to hurl them right back at him. Seriously, on any given day, I have over 100 active/open cases. Sure, they may be small cases, requiring short court appearances, but they are still cases, my friend. To get through the day, I need at least four full pots of coffee. Yes, pots, not mugs.

Unfortunately, the government does not provide free coffee to its employees. At least not in my office. No, my office is real fancy and has a coffee pool. All coffee drinkers must contribute $5 per month and our Bean Master is in charge of buying the goods. For some unknown reason, everyone dropped out of the pool, except me. I’m a rebel. A maverick. I want my coffee and I want it now. So when the Bean Master retired, I took over. I bought coffee every month, just for myself. I enjoyed every delectable drop. I flaunted my steaming, sweating, hot cup of java in my co-workers’ faces. But the habit got expensive. Since no else in the office was contributing, I had to pay for it myself. And then I would circle the kitchen area obsessively to make sure coffee thieves didn’t siphon my merchandise.

This year, I’ve decided enough is enough. Simply put, I can’t keep spending 0.08 percent of my salary on an addiction. My government salary can’t handle such luxuries! Nor can I afford leaving my desk every 15 minutes to check on my pot. So, my new addiction in 2012: free government tap water.

Martine Jean is an attorney turned writer/producer. In addition to writing Chronicles of a Government Lawyer for Bitter Lawyer, she writes screenplays and runs a small production company. Her work can be found on IMDB as well as Melange Media and martinejean.com. Her twitter account is @melangemedia.

5 Comments

  1. Misty

    January 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Funny stuff! I worked for the government once. Heavy work load and little pay! Good times!

  2. Ellen

    January 12, 2012 at 5:53 am

    I would Like to work for the govermnent. My cousin worked there and he did little work and did not get alot of money but he did OK. He got a good sick pay and retirement too. I do NOT have much in my 401k, FOOEY! I want to get MARRIED!

  3. Joe

    January 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Go to CVS and get caffeine pills.

  4. Richard Jones

    January 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I’m currently a government lawyer and this hits close to home. Wow, Martine Jean is a VERY funny and talented writer!

  5. Jean-Phillippe R. Beaulieu

    January 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Hey very funny, I am a Paralegal and from a Coffee producing country but dont drink it. Wow yeepy kay yeh welcome to the club. Government work does not pay but I love their Retirement plans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>